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Some options concerning child support in Missouri

St. Charles residents who owe or receive child support payments may be interested in a couple of statistics. Right now, there are over 313,000 child support orders in the state of Missouri, and Missouri parents are owed more than $2 billion in back payments for child support.

Tough economic times have played a huge role in creating these numbers, and parts of Missouri have reported higher numbers of non-custodial parents in the state support system than ever. Many of these parents have lost their jobs or changed jobs, and often a parent's failure to pay results in legal action.

However, even though Missouri residents have been hit hard by the faltering economy, it's been reported that child support collections are increasing. This increase is in part due to the state's switching from a paper filing process to an online process that speeds up collection and reduces errors.

Still, many non-custodial parents are facing financial hardships that may require the modification of a child support order. Such a modification can be granted if a person has experienced a devastating change in income or a serious injury that prevents employment. Most non-custodial parents do their best to make support payments, and a modification may be the best way to send the message that a child's well-being is still the top concern for a non-custodial parent.

Custodial parents who are owed child support payments also have a number of options to secure the needed funds. The most common way to recover support payments is through wage withholdings, which the state will enforce. Levies, wage garnishments and bank account garnishments are also options that many parents choose to receive the needed payments.

Each divorce settlement is different, and to ensure that the well-being of a child is of the highest concern now and in the future, custodial and non-custodial parents will want to know exactly what their rights are under Missouri law.

Source: Ozarks First, "Unpaid Child Support a Burden for Government, Families," Kate Stacy, Feb. 20, 2012

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